Throughout the summer, CMG continues to work with all political parties to improve funding and independence for CBC/Radio-Canada. We have requested meetings with Shelly Glover, the Minister of Heritage (Conservative), as well as NDP Heritage critic, Pierre Nantel and Liberal Heritage critic, Stéphane Dion, and Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, to discuss our priorities for an adequately funded and independent CBC.
As of today, we have met with each of the national opposition parties. Unfortunately, Minister Glover has declined our request for a meeting.
Here are the highlights of the CMG proposals. We are asking each party to include this support as commitments to Canadians in their election platform (2015):
1. Reverse the $115-million Deficit Reduction Action Plan (DRAP) cut to CBC
2. Increase CBC’s funding to about half the average of what other developed countries invest in their public broadcaster to $43.5 per capita annually over the next five years, and adjust CBC’s parliamentary appropriation for inflation.
3. Ask the CRTC to reinstate a fund that is dedicated to programming by public service media (CBC, TVO, APTN, Tfo, community media) as well as independent producers on all platforms that meet the diverse and evolving programming needs of Canadians.
4. Repeal Division 17 of omnibus budget Bill C-60 – in the interest of our country and of our reputation as a mature democracy – to remove the possibility of governmental interference in CBC’s day-to-day operations.
5. Protect CBC/Radio-Canada’s independence by instituting a public mechanism for selecting the national public broadcaster’s Board and CEO.
How you can help – Speak to your MP and other federal candidates
With many MPs in their ridings for the summer, there is a chance you may run into your MP or other federal candidates at BBQ or other community events. As a CBC employee, you have intimate knowledge of the CBC, and are uniquely positioned to raise key points. Here’s what some of us have been saying to our MPs and other candidates:
• CBC matters to me and to Canadians, and we don’t want it to lose its existing strengths in radio and television production. I am sure, just like me, you can’t imagine Canada without a strong CBC presence on television and radio, even as CBC continues to lead the way in online and mobile programming. Please commit to increasing CBC’s funding from $29 for each Canadian a year to half the average in other developed countries – that’s $43.50 per Canadian a year.
• Canada is a big country, next to the U.S. powerhouse with its big commercial broadcasters. Without a strong CBC available on all platforms, Canadians will have fewer home-grown Canadian media choices – in news, current affairs, culture and entertainment. Will you commit to raising CBC’s funding to $43.50 for every Canadian each year over the next five years?
• Even former CBC Board members are asking for more money for CBC, and saying to the current board that CBC cannot be cut anymore. We are counting on you to do everything you can to make sure CBC has enough funding.
• CBC is facing one of the largest layoffs of program creators and journalists in Canadian history. This needs to be stopped. Will you make sure that CBC has enough money to do what we expect from it as our national public broadcaster?
• I think we need to make sure that CBC’s independence is always protected. Would you support a public process for selecting the CBC’s Board and CEO?
To find your current MP and his or her contact information, click here.
Carmel Smyth, National President, CMG
Marc-Philippe Laurin, CBC Branch President, CMG